Commending the incredible work of the NSPCC
The National Children of Wales Awards are thrilled to be supporting the NSPCC, also known as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
The NSPCC is dedicated to protecting children across the UK from appalling accounts of abuse and neglect, aiming to transform society to ensure the children of the future are safe.
The charity is trying to tackle the all-too-often hidden crime of child sexual exploitation, often referred to as CSE, by working in partnership with regional agencies and bodies.
In Wales, the pioneering ‘Protect and Respect’ scheme is making a difference vulnerable young people who are sadly at risk.
It is offered at two of the three Welsh NSPCC centres in Prestatyn and Swansea and it is aimed 11 to 19 year olds and covers three key areas - protection, risk reduction and recovery.
Delivered through partnership working, the charity is working alongside North Wales Police and other agencies to help keep children safe for the threat of abuse.
In Prestatyn, practitioners from the NSPCC regularly work with the force's specialist team.
Police officers gather intelligence about CSE so they can identify the current picture across North Wales - where it's happening, who are the victims and who is responsible.
Following a referral, specially-trained practitioners meet the young person at risk and carry out an assessment, beginning the process of assessing and addressing their needs.
Through a combination of one-to-one sessions and group work, practitioners may work with a child for up to six months but it can be longer. Meanwhile the force’s specialist team maintains a supporting role in the initiative and stays in contact with young people it refers to us, offering help when required.
Importantly, the service offers bespoke support - for example, it is provided in Welsh when it is the spoken language of the young person.
The North Wales Safeguarding Children's Board, which includes the NSPCC, six local authorities, the local police force and health board plus key stakeholders, was also the first regional statutory body in the UK to adopt the NSPCC's harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) framework, in part due to the work of ‘Protect and Respect'.
Partnerships like this are vital in the NSPCC’s ongoing battle to keep children safe.
The work of the NSPCC in their plight to prevent children from becoming victims of abuse is truly admirable. Countless lives have no doubt been improved or repaired due to their work, which is mostly funded by public donations.
Even a small donation can make a world of difference.
£3 could pay for the ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ programme to reach one primary school child, giving them the knowledge to protect themselves from abuse.
£4 could pay for one trained volunteer counsellor to answer a child's to Childline.
£5 could cover the cost of answering a call to the NSPCC helpline.
£25 could pay for a trained practitioner to deliver one hour of Pregnancy in Mind to help new parents with the ups and downs of having a baby.
We are confident that proceeds from the National Children of Wales Awards will go towards improving the quality of life of children in Wales, as well as across the UK.